Koireng Alternative names:
Total population
2600 (2011 census)
Regions with significant populations
Koren, Manipuri, English
Related ethnic groups
Aimol, Kom

The Koireng People are one of the many indigenous peoples inhabiting Manipur in North-East India. They have a shared common ancestry, history, cultural traits, folklore and dialects with their kindred people like Aimol and Kom.


The word 'Koireng', believed to be termed by the Meiteis is, is a corrupt version of the word, Kolren (Kol=east, Ren= people) or 'Koren'. Linguistically, Koireng is classified under the Tibeto-Burman of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Koirengs are generally short-statured, with straight black hair, dark brown eyes and brown skin. Koireng is a recognized scheduled tribe of India. They have linguistic and cultural affinities with some of their neighbouring kindred people such as the Aimol, the Tikhup, the Purum and the Kharam tribes of Manipur and the Ranglong, Hrangkhol of Tripura and the Biates.

School children of Longa Koireng Village
School children of Longa Koireng Village

Culture and tradition

Koireng women use ornaments with Har (armlet), Yak-serr (armlet), Rikarui (a necklace of red beads). Koireng men of high social hierarchy decorate themselves with a fur of matured red goat's hair during important festivities. Important dress and customs are: (i) Puonthal (for males), Puonwom, Murkisen, thaite (turban) and (ii) Puonhem (for females)-ascribing higher status for being adorn with it. Puonsen, Saipikhup, Lung-um, Puonkok-hoi, Puon-lang, Korr-aam (the latter two clothes are waist belts). Musical instruments used are Khuong (drum), Roshem (a bagpiper-like musical instrument made of dried reeds and matured hollowed-out gourd), Sekhi (horn), Sum (gong) of various sizes, Serang-dar (a violin-like stringed instrument), etc. Household implements like spear, dao, guns, fishing baskets, carrying baskets, hoe, plough, yoke etc. were used.


The Koirengs have always believed in the existence of a supreme creator whom they refer to as Pathien. Old pagan rituals are no longer in practice. Today, leaving a few aged individuals, the entire Koireng populace have embraced Christianity.


The Koireng economy persists mainly on agriculture which they carry on by both wet method and shifting cultivation. Paddy, potato, ginger, yongcha (Parkia speciosa), etc., are some of the main products. Gathering economy and basket products for commercial goods form trade and market. Hunting in the form of sports is persistent during off-seasons in the villages of Thanglong, Utonglok and Sadu (Tungluong).

Koirengs: past and present

The Koirengs' last major colonial stronghold, as they entered Manipur, was the Thangjing Hill range overlooking the pristine Loktak lake. Thangjing is derived from the Koren words, Thang = South, Ching=hill. Their historic dominance of this region was presumably a constant eyesore to the erstwhile kingdom of the Moirang clan. This proximity led to numerous aggressions. The Koirengs, already weakened after a major infernal disaster, were terribly defeated at the end. They ultimately underwent a diaspora in various parts of Manipur and North-East India. Today, the Koirengs (Korens) are sparsely scattered around the surrounding foothills of the Imphal valley of Manipur, India.

                   Tuiruong tiengmo chesik?
                   Tuivai tiengmo chesik?            
                      (Old Koren Saying)